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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Judiciary chairman holds key to immigration bills

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/3860896.html

    May 14, 2006, 2:28AM

    Judiciary chairman holds key to immigration bills
    Congressman's bullying style stirs fears in the Senate

    By GEBE MARTINEZ
    Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON - It's fair to say that House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner is not the most popular man on Capitol Hill.

    Colleagues consider him smart, stubborn and ornery. His bullying style in final bill negotiations between the House and Senate has made some senators cringe and forced the White House to tread carefully.

    But if President Bush wants an immigration reform bill out of Congress this year, he will have to deal with Sensenbrenner, author of the most punitive illegal immigration control bill in recent House history.

    Sensenbrenner, 62, a Republican from Wisconsin, is a significant reason why the Senate has had trouble finishing its version of the immigration bill.

    Before debating the finer details of a measure that would combine tough border security with a legalization program, senators argued over how to make their bill strong enough to withstand Sensenbrenner's expected opposition.


    Conference makeup
    Republican and Democratic leaders agreed last week to return to the immigration bill after announcing a 26-member negotiating team to the final House-Senate conference that includes 15 senators who support creating a citizenship path for illegal immigrants.

    The White House, which leans toward the Senate bill, had been keeping its powder dry but announced late last week that Bush planned a nationwide address Monday on immigration.

    The Senate and the White House are throwing a lot of firepower at Sensenbrenner, and for good reason.

    "He has very strong views, and he knows the parliamentary system forwards and backwards," said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas. "He's a tough cookie."

    Sensenbrenner chuckled recently after Democrats heaped praise on him for guiding to the House floor a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act. The landmark 1965 civil rights legislation requires that citizens be given equal access to ballots regardless of race, national origin or language proficiency — a right that seems at odds with his hard line on immigration.

    "Everybody is all sweetness and light," he joked, in a rare chat with reporters. "Maybe it does show I am able to negotiate bipartisan compromise."

    Perhaps he can, but will he? Senators can only wonder.


    Intelligence overhaul
    "I have watched bills pass the Senate with overwhelming majorities, and they end up in a conference with Chairman Sensenbrenner, where they are chewed to pieces," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who previously compared Senate negotiators to "cocker spaniels in a room full of pit bulls."

    A case in point, Durbin said, was the 2004 intelligence overhaul law recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

    Sensenbrenner rallied conservative House Republicans to block the bill because the final version deleted his immigration provisions, including one making it harder for illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses.

    After telephone calls from Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Sensenbrenner relented on the condition that his provisions would be part of the first "must-pass" bill in 2005. The immigration provisions became law right on schedule.

    Sensenbrenner came to Congress in 1979 and has headed the Judiciary panel since 2001.

    Though he previously has engaged in high-profile battles, it is immigration that has brought him to prominence.

    "Sensenbrenner" has appeared on signs at massive rallies staged across the nation in opposition to his bill that would jail people for "unlawful presence" in the United States. The bill also would raise fines on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

    Sensenbrenner is outspoken about being annoyed by Mexico's criticisms of his bill, as often voiced by Mexico Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez.

    "If you Google me in the Mexican press, my name appears practically every time (Derbez) issues a press release. Now, if I did the same in Mexico City, under Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution, I could be summarily jailed," he said, referring to Mexican law that prohibits foreigners from participating in the political affairs of the country.


    Border security
    In recent weeks, as most senators have come to support an immigration bill that would eventually grant citizenship to most of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States and also create temporary worker visas, the chairman said nothing was "off the table."

    But he has held to the view that the highest priority is strengthening U.S. borders.

    "It is important to do the border security and the employer sanctions first. And if we stopped encouraging the flow of illegal immigrants across the border, then we can figure out what to do with the 11 million who are already here," he said.

    With Congress facing election-year demands to fix immigration laws, some senators said party leaders, including Bush, will force the Senate and House, including Sensenbrenner, to compromise.

    "I think there's enormous pressures now to try to get something done in a comprehensive fashion," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a lead sponsor of the broad immigration bill. "And the (House) Speaker has been saying some good things about the guest worker program. So I hope we can work together."

    gebe.martinez@chron.com
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    1. Durbin is an idiot for voicing that- HE -a Cocker Spaniel can NOT do his job as well as Sennsenbrenner the Pit Bull.

    2. Sennsenbrenner is an idiot for allowing ANY DRIVER'S LICENSES to ILLEGALS.

    3. Every House seat is up for RE-ELECTION this year!!!

    Now, go get those dogs
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    I respect Sensenbrenner, Pete King, Tom Tancredo, JD Hayworth, and Dana Rohrabacher and those that are like them.

    They are a rare few, of decent men who still have integrity and respect for The Constitution Of The United States.

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    I only respect & TRUST those that do NOT aid and abet ILLEGALS. Sensenbrenner has done so several times.

    Read the fine print in each bill to see what's been given away at our expense that you've not been made aware of until it's too late if ever.
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    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    relented on the condition that his provisions would be part of the first "must-pass" bill in 2005. The immigration provisions became law right on schedule.
    The above is a little confusing. Sensenbrener did get the driver's license thing under control. He pulled it off of one bill and stuck it on another. It's called the Real ID Act and it was passed in 2005.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...051001403.html
    http://www.numbersusa.com/hottopic/0...senbrenner.htm
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    the REAL ID ACT is a DISASTER.

    Think Motor Voter
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    Durbin is actually a great debater, the best I have seen in a while... It is perhaps one of the few who can do some damage... Having said that, Senserbrnner has lots of leverage. I doubt Tancredo will make it to the comitte. Does anyone know who is going to be in the committe?

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    It's not been announced yet............lol, do you think they're suicidal?

    Durbin should be dumped into the trash with the rest. His debating skills are not the issue. The issue is HIS VOTING RECORD re: ILLEGALS
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndamendsis
    It's not been announced yet............lol, do you think they're suicidal?

    Durbin should be dumped into the trash with the rest. His debating skills are not the issue. The issue is HIS VOTING RECORD re: ILLEGALS
    2nd that
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  10. #10
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    You are mistaken. There will be proilegals in the committe, antiilegals in the commitee and those who havent made up their mind yet. Senator Durbin and his strong rethoric is a very important issue, because he could just tip the balance... It is important to knoew if he will be there, because he is one of the most dangerous foes.
    If he is pro or anti ilegal is not the issue, the issue is how many can he convince to join his views...

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